leafan

TLG acquires Bricklink

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It is not "hard" to develop code so that sellers can specific what languages they work in. Buyers can specify what languages they want. The software can be written to match them up. The sellers would have to create their store terms in the languages they support.

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Hmmm. Have monitored sentiments on severals forums and been holding back my own comment on this so far. Interestingly, most fans happen to have some ressentiments against this deal.

First, I'm neither a fanboy nor a gruntling clone-bricks-buyer. I'm an avid collector, and sometimes I have fun building stuff with my little one (or on my own... hehe). So, when I think about the possible changes coming in the future (and there WILL be changes, that's for sure), I mainly think about it from the perspective of someone who buys old sets, old instructions and old parts mostly out of nostalgia. And I don't think what I do on BL will be affected on short or even long term.

However, I can see the possible downsides to this too. Lots of cons to this deal have been posted here, I agree with some but will not repeat any here. I do sincerely hope that BL happens to stay the way it is: A great place to buy and sell used or new LEGO, wherever it may come from / which lorry it dropped off *cough*, and an awesome database to support this.

 

I am not interested in buying from LEGO directly anymore, the sheer mass of promo items and, of course, regular sets is overwhelming. No sense in collecting here, at least not if you aim for a half-way completeness. I am no Bill Gates, sorry LEGO.

That's what has driven me to flea markets, whether online or physical, and to BL. There are lots of sets out there from the past, some haven't even been released in my country back then. And sometimes I just go and browse the database for some hours, just for fun. Lot's of sets to be had for pocket money. No need to wait for any promotion or Black Friday Deal... So, if LEGO screws up BL there will definitely be other places to fullfill my needs. No need to panic.

 

One last note:

I do not know how big a factor like nostalgia drives people to buy on BL or elsewhere. But it sure would be nice to get some "Legends" sets again, as happened in the past with the Metroliner or the Guarded Inn. I think there are lots of niches like that one that need to get filled. And now that LEGO has relevant sales data from a second-hand market, LEGO will know whether or not this is backed up by data...

Edited by Capparezza

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10 hours ago, Capparezza said:

I do not know how big a factor like nostalgia drives people to buy on BL or elsewhere. But it sure would be nice to get some "Legends" sets again, as happened in the past with the Metroliner or the Guarded Inn. I think there are lots of niches like that one that need to get filled. And now that LEGO has relevant sales data from a second-hand market, LEGO will know whether or not this is backed up by data...

This has very very very little to absolute zero chance happen, tending to absolute zero.
They changed brown, light gray, pink and dark gray. These colors do not exist any more.
Plus, when released, the LEGENDS sets were an absolute disaster, though they were limited edition.
Plus, the Benny Space Squad had very poor sales records.
So, though I would welcome them wholeheartedly, I reckon there is zero chance they make re-edition of old sets.

 

Quote

Yes, it would be good to add other languages but even that can add problems too. BL is essentially a venue for individual sellers and buyers. While some orders are possible without any communication, I find often some communication is necessary for many, even if that is in a description of condition or similar.

Not a problem again.
You can add a field as much as Accepted Currencies, Accepted Languages then is up on the seller, if they want to spread their market, to allow several different spoken languages.
And up on the buyer, a warning "This seller doesn't speak your language do you want to proceed?"
Actually, a lot of german or dutch sellers do not speak english, but this has been no problem til now.
 

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1 hour ago, Itaria No Shintaku said:


Plus, the Benny Space Squad had very poor sales records.

I got the impression that this sold very well, but being the smallest of the sets there were loads made. I think just about every AFOL and most LEGO-loving families I know has at least one copy of the set.

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Just now, MAB said:

I got the impression that this sold very well, but being the smallest of the sets there were loads made. I think just about every AFOL and most LEGO-loving families I know has at least one copy of the set.

Found it at 50% this summer in every French "Jouet" store. Now it's discounted on the shop.
To me, that didn't sell well, compared to the fact you got 5 minifigures and a vehicle for ten bucks.
That's a set that even in the golden age would have costed more.

Edited by Itaria No Shintaku

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Just now, Itaria No Shintaku said:

Found it at 50% this summer in every French "Jouet" store. Now it's discounted on the shop.
To me, that didn't sell well, compared to the fact you got 5 minifigures and a vehicle for ten bucks.

Yes, now the movie is gone from cinemas, most TLM2 sets are discounted. Does clearly the remaining stock mean it sold poorly?

If it does, the HP advent calendars also sold badly - I just picked some up at 60% off.

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3 hours ago, Itaria No Shintaku said:

Plus, when released, the LEGENDS sets were an absolute disaster, though they were limited edition.

How do you know that? Did you get sales data from the time they were released or something? I wouldn't be surprised if LEGO themselves didn't have that data anymore...

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30 minutes ago, Lego David said:

How do you know that? Did you get sales data from the time they were released or something? I wouldn't be surprised if LEGO themselves didn't have that data anymore...

I have talked about that with LEGO Community Managers when asking for more nostalgia stuff.
In two different occasions and different people (whose names I won't reveal in order not to get them in trouble) they said their sales were extra poor and that's a reason why they have never been released again.

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1 hour ago, MAB said:

If it does, the HP advent calendars also sold badly - I just picked some up at 60% off. 

That is something different, advent calendars loose most of its value in December :hmpf:
I am sure the HP sold extremely well as usual, but shops tend to order more calendars then they can sell..
Wait and see next year, if we get a new one then you know for sure it was a bestseller :wink:

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Just now, Roebuck said:

That is something different, advent calendars loose most of its value in December :hmpf:
I am sure the HP sold extremely well as usual, but shops tend to order more calendars then they can sell..
Wait and see next year, if we get a new one then you know for sure it was a bestseller :wink:

Yeah, although the same is true for (current) movie based sets, once the movie goes from being in theaters and out of the consciousness of the buying public.

38 minutes ago, Lego David said:

How do you know that? Did you get sales data from the time they were released or something? I wouldn't be surprised if LEGO themselves didn't have that data anymore...

In terms of LEGENDS, I think he is correct and that LEGO employees have said as much in the past, more than just  fan speculation.

Personally, I don't think the modern colours are any worse than the old colours and changing, for example, old dark grey for modern DBG would really make much difference to the sales. However, the problem comes in the molds. If they replace old hinges for new ones, or change the arch designs and so on, then to me that is bigger than a slight colour change.  Of course if you need old greys to restore an old set (where BL comes in very useful) then colour changes are important. But for a newly released version of a set, less so. However, if the design needs to be changed to work around the difference of modern and old parts, then in my view they are better off forgetting the old designs, and just designing a decent new set from scratch.

 

While it is unlikely that they will re-do old sets, LEGO has been providing things like the Classic Space printed slopes, the Benny squad for army building Classic Space people. They clearly already know there is demand to do things like this and hopefully them mining data at BL will mean they continue to provide us with modern "vintage" parts if not sets.

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3 hours ago, MAB said:

I got the impression that this sold very well, but being the smallest of the sets there were loads made. I think just about every AFOL and most LEGO-loving families I know has at least one copy of the set.

They sold well in the UK for sure. They initially sold out until the first re-stock.

I'd say discount doesn't equal poor sales.

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35 minutes ago, leafan said:

They sold well in the UK for sure. They initially sold out until the first re-stock.

I'd say discount doesn't equal poor sales.

Yeah, I sold probably 75+ yellow, white and pink astronauts in the first couple of months after release (on BL). The Benny's took a bit longer to shift but still went.

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LEGENDS being exclusive greatly limited their reach.

Maybe internet shopping was bigger in the USA compared to Europe at the time, because many people only even knew their LEGO sets from their local toyshop yearly lego catalogs or the little product booklets that came in the sets themselves.

Consider the fact that LEGO only just now opened their 1st physical stores in NL in 2019, and many countries don't even have one yet.

If LEGACY Ninjago proves succesful I can imagine that LEGO might try that for other themes, nostalgia is a pretty big marketing factor trend right now, just look at all those remakes/remasters that are going on.

Edited by TeriXeri

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I wish they had done a reissue of a Space set in the line, that would have been a must-buy. But they never did (even though they did reissues in Pirates, Castle, Train, Technic, Town, Western and other themes)

Heck, I would still be interested in a re-issue of some old Space set (although the Ice Planet sets require too many dead molds for that to be viable unfortunately)

 

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One upside for Bricklink is that they're getting a lot more traffic from me ever since BrickSET has forced a member login just to view Lego set part inventories.

Why force a login in order to view what the other site provides without one. Or is this the beginning of the end for simply viewing what parts came in what set.

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On 12/5/2019 at 12:45 AM, koalayummies said:

One upside for Bricklink is that they're getting a lot more traffic from me ever since BrickSET has forced a member login just to view Lego set part inventories.

I've always used Bricker for that, because Bricker sorts by date. So when I'm making a MOC, missing a part and I wanna find which set I own to steal it from, I'm not wasting my time browsing sets out of the range of years I've been buying Lego.

That beats BL, but I've never used Brickset for that, so I can't compare.

On 12/4/2019 at 11:43 PM, jonwil said:

I wish they had done a reissue of a Space set in the line, that would have been a must-buy.

While I'm all for it and I've bought several of the spaceman battlepack from Movie 2 (in which helmets are simply not as good, exposing a nasty mold mark at the top), I'm more for new sets like Benny's ship.

I bought & opened a new (tiny) set from 1983. And when I opened it, it was something, a set that was basically released when I was a kid & waited for nearly 40 years to be opened. A re-release just can't bring the same feel.
 

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Well, I didn't believe for a minute that TLG wasn't going to change things at Bricklink and make it less useful as an AFOL marketplace.  This morning they announced that downloads are being disabled on all Studio models that use any third party IP.  So that means no more downloading digital Star Destroyers and Batmobiles from that site.  It's easy to see why they're changing that, but it's still disappointing.  There's still Rebrickable and Bricksafe, but they don't have as much content as the Studio gallery in the genres that interest me, and their interfaces are harder to use.  What's the next shoe to drop, I wonder?

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13 minutes ago, icm said:

that use any third party IP.

Well, for starters anything else to do with 3rd party IPs is in danger.
And it's looking a lot more likely they will reduce bricklink to strictly Lego issued bricks.
No more compatible custom parts, maybe no more mods of TLG bricks such as chrome, custom pad prints.

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27 minutes ago, Masked Mini said:

And it's looking a lot more likely they will reduce bricklink to strictly Lego issued bricks.

[emphasis mine]

Where are you seeing that? So far all I've seen is idle speculation on the part of worried AFOLs that this will be the case. So far TLG has said that they're planning to be hands-off on this. I'm still hopeful that they won't crack down quite that far.  

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4z2cl9kmqe441.jpg

Dear Designer,

We love the creativity that the Studio Gallery fosters amongst all of our designers. There have been over 17,000 creations uploaded by all of you! Many of these designs are incredible original creations; however, we have noticed a number of submissions  in the Studio Gallery that are Intellectual Property (IP) related subjects.

In order to allow you to continue to show off all of your creations in the Studio Gallery, we will be setting designs that are IP infringing to Display Only. This means that all of your images and description will be visible, but the Studio file cannot be downloaded, and the parts list will not be available.

If any of your designs in the Studio Gallery are related to IP subjects, we ask that you please go ahead and switch them to Display Only.

How to switch your design to Display Only

Navigate to My Studio and click the name of your design. Uncheck the “Allow downloads” checkbox, and then click Save at the bottom of the page.

Screenshot of My Studio page

Thank you for understanding, and we hope to continue to see your wonderful designs in the Studio Gallery!

  • The BrickLink Team

--------------------------------------

Here is the information. I found it on Reddit. 

IMO this is understandable because LEGO needs to protect itself from any kind of trouble with a IP holder, but this is exactly why I wasn't fond of them buying BL in the first place. If they can only show it it's like the Lego Ideas set 2.0. I know you can still get original content, but this wasn't a problem if BL stayed independent. 

It's a matter of time before they change other things in their favor. 

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3 hours ago, Dhivael said:

Where are you seeing that?

I'm not. It's...

 

3 hours ago, Dhivael said:

idle speculation on the part of worried AFOLs

based on my fears and news like the above decision to remove 3rd party stuff from Stud.IO.

And some thoughts on the realities of TLG's licensing agreements. Consider the royalties for instance, TLG pays a cut of each set to the IP holder. Lucasfilms/Disney in particular are rabid about that. It's part of the reason we don't get licensed parts in BnP, complicates the accounting. If Bricklink is legally considered to be the retail outlet as opposed to say the owner of a fleamarket then the royalty agreements grip there too.
Easier to ban licensed bricks than to try and catalogue them separately for the purposes of accurately tracking fractions of cents that need to be remitted as royalties. Royalties that I'm sure are not boilerplate across all the different IPs at that.

Speaking of Lucasfilms, Hasbro has the old Kenner exclusive license to SW action figures. They are rabid about protecting their "turf" to the point that TLG has to avoid selling just minifigs as they can be considered an action figure when stood alone from brick builds (no Star Wars CMF and why the advent calendar has so many brick builds and why battlepacks always have a vehicle). That's an infringement of Hasbro's license. Not all of this may be correct. I am neither a lawyer nor a business insider. But assume for a moment that I'm on the general trail here.
By extension Bricklink is now part of TLG in a legal sense.
TLG contracts and licenses now apply to Bricklink.
TLG is not themselves violating say Hasbro's action figure license BUT they are providing a haven (Bricklink) for sellers that sell just minifigs.
That could be argued as breaking the licensing agreements with extra steps.
Hasbro may feel the need to sue TLG to maintain their license exclusivity. And while they may or may not have legal standing that is a suit that TLG could simply want to avoid... by instituting their BnP policy, effectively forbidding (re)sale of licensed minifigs and bricks.

When it comes to TLG removing custom compatible parts is simply protecting their chosen brand image. Not need for tinfoil hats here.

Custom printed bricks often, but not always, are actually infringing on IP. Whether that is Marvel/DC Heroes and Villains TLG hasn't gotten around to or people copying TLG IP such as new tiles/torsos with -tron logos. Slam dunk case for removal right there. Protection of TLG IP and TLG from IP holder law suits.

Edited by Masked Mini

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3 hours ago, thenightman89 said:

How disheartening.  I loved being able to download those studio files to view techniques - for example, someone made an awesome micro Razor Crest ship (from the Mandalorian). And soon enough you won't be able to get the file! 

That leaves Rebrickable (who ever cared about MOCs on BL anyway?).. until Lego buys it

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I am no lawyer but if Lego could be attacked for giving people the possibility to trade licenced action figures... wouldn't be ebay or amazon be affected by that, too? I don't see a difference.

Edited by Gorilla94

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6 minutes ago, Gorilla94 said:

I am no lawyer but if Lego could be attacked for giving people the possibility to trade licenced action figures... wouldn't be ebay or amazon be affected by that, too? I don't see a difference.

Neither Ebay nor Amazon actually manufacture a product. Both are firmly Marketplace owners.
Lego would be both a manufacturer, bound by existing licensing agreements, AND a Marketplace owner.
A suit could attack the angle of TLG circumventing the licensing agreements through their Marketplace.
I'm not saying it's a GOOD legal argument. Quite often corporate entities make decisions simply to preempt a possible suit, as the cost to go to discovery or beyond for a dismissal can be a significant cost.

Edited by Masked Mini

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